10 Tools Every Scrapbooker Should Have

Quite often, friends and acquaintances tell me they want to start scrapbooking but aren’t sure where to start. I always tell them to start by coming over to my house for some coffee, pie and girl talk. Ok, I know that’s not what they mean, but it’s a great way to get started!  Anyway, I’ve been thinking about what I wish I had known when I started scrapping. 

When I first caught the scrapbooking bug, I couldn’t stop shopping for all those cute stamps and die cuts and paper punches and ribbons. Oh, and don’t get me started on the paper! I had to have it all, whether I knew what to do with it or not! But let’s just keep that our little secret.

What I really wish I had known was which basic tools I needed. After a lot of trial and error I figured it out, and in fact, I still use those tools today. So if you’re new to scrapbooking and are wondering what you should get, my advice to you is to start with this list, and then build upon it as needed:  

You should always have a good pair of sharp scissors handy. Get a pair that you use only for scrapbooking so that you’ll always know where they are.


A plain old ruler is handy for things such as lining up elements on your page and getting spacing right.

If you’re thinking about using some cheap glue sticks or a bottle of school glue, you should rethink that. You need to use quality adhesives that are acid-free. There’s an abundance of adhesives (double-sided tape runners, photo tabs, glue dots, etc.) that are made for this type of work. After all, you wouldn’t want your hard work falling apart or being damaged by the wrong adhesives. So go give that school glue back to the kids!

Paper Trimmer

Your paper trimmer will become one of your scrapbooking best friends. You’ll use it for cutting straight lines and making squares. There are many sizes available, but it’s probably best to start with a 12” paper trimmer and add other sizes once you have more experience. 


Tweezers will let you place small items precisely where you want them while keeping your hands clean and your scrapbook pages smudge-free. And you thought they were just for plucking eyebrows and removing splinters!

Craft Knife

Great for trimming extra material from embellishments, creating freehand cuts and a variety of other tasks.


You know that pen you found in the bottom of your purse last week? I’m pretty sure that’s not the one you want to use. Get a good acid-free one in blue or black – or whatever color works with the project you have in mind. You just never know when you’ll want to write something on one of the pages you’re working on, so it’s best to have a good pen.

Scrapbooking Album
This might seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes it’s easy to get carried away with all of the accessories and forget about the actual album! There are many, many varieties, so it’s important to think about how you’ll use it before making a purchase.

Scrapbooking Paper
Ah, the fun part! There is definitely no shortage of incredible scrapbooking paper around. It’s wise to invest in some basic colors (they always come in handy) that are acid-free. (Sometimes the paper is described as buffered or lignin-free). It’s also good to keep some card stock around in basic colors. Once you’ve decided how to do a particular page, shop for more unique paper, if needed. You should also make sure it matches the size of the album you’re working on.


The fun continues! Embellishments are what give your scrapbook its personality! Stickers, buttons, eyelets, charms, gems…don’t be afraid to experiment! As you’re working on your page, start out with just a few embellishments. Why? It’s easier to add more than it is to remove some. 

Whew! There you have it – the 10 basic items I think every scrapbooker should have. What are your scrapbooking essentials?

Until next time, keep on scrapping!

Your friend,